Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Having Problems Connecting Yahoo Mail?

For months now, many of us have had problems connecting our Yahoo Email.  We've clicked our Yahoo Email shortcut in our favorite internet browser and then after practically and eternity, we finally see a blank white screen that reads, "Unable to Connect".  Then a few hours later, we can get in. And if that wasn't frustrating enough, some of our friends aren't having problems at all. 

Troubleshooting intermittent problems like these are challenging.  But last night I happen to be paying a little more attention and noticed one minor detail.  The shortcut I was clicking on pointed to a different location then the actual address where my email was stored.  In other words, it looks like Yahoo moved my email account to another server and my shortcut was still pointing to the old server.  

Since the old shortcut worked part of the time (but not all), I'm guessing Yahoo put a redirect in place so that when the old shortcuts were clicked, they would be redirected to the new servers ... but I'm guessing the redirect wasn't always working (which is why my problem was intermittent).

So next I deleted my old shortcut and used Google to get back to my Yahoo email and created a new shortcut.  So far that seems to have solved all of my Yahoo connection problems.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Use Caution When Posting on Facebook

You probably noticed that a few of your Facebook "friends" will post just about anything that pops into their head.  Often times the posts are full of profanity and other vulgarities.  This seems to be especially true with younger people.

Very few people consider the potential consequences when posting on Facebook.  The first thing to keep in mind is that everything you post gets stored in a database FOREVER!   You can delete old posts and photos from your facebook account .... but they will still remain in Facebook's database.  Here's a great article on just how long things remain in Facebook's database.

Another thing to keep in mind is that others are searching Facebook for more information about you. It's becoming commonplace for future employers, colleges and others to search Facebook accounts to determine if you're the right sort of person they'd like to admit into their organization.  And of course, lawyers and law enforcement will also search Facebook in the event a crime is committed.

If you have kids, nephews, nieces, etc. .... it's a good idea to teach them to keep things in mind when posting. For more information about the potential dangers of Facebook posting, click here.

For more information about your Facebook privacy, click here.

To learn how to stop Facebook from sharing your information on Google, click here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Like Chess?

Chess was one of my favorite games growing up.  It was the one game I could get my grandpa and the other men in our family to play.  It was the game we could match wits on.  Not only did we play chess, but we also used to make our own chess boards and then buy the pieces to go with the new board. It was fun collecting different sets.  I still have the boxed chess board that me and my grandpa made over 20 years ago. 

One of my good friends who shares the passion for chess, has started her own website selling chess sets over the internet.  It's a great site to find different chess sets, boards, tables, etc. The Word Wide Chess Sets web site also carries Cribbage, Backgammon, Chinese Checkers, and Dominoes too!

They even have a computer chess game that is completely portable (so it's great for traveling).  Nice way to keep yourself or the kids entertained on those long road trips and flights.

Check it out .... Word Wide Chess Sets (and like I said, the site is owned by a good friend, so it's completely trustworthy)!

Internet Marketing Link Woes

While not all of my clients are interested in internet marketing, many are so I thought I would share this article.  There's a lot of  Do's & Don'ts where internet marketing is concerned and if you're not careful, you'll find yourself penalized by the search engines (like Google) for employing the don'ts ... as JC Penny recently discovered.  

Search engines love links into a website.  The more the better.  But the catch is that these links have to natural links ... in other words, other sites are linking to yours to share valuable (and related) content with their readers. If you manipulate the system, you can get into trouble.  This is why generic link exchanges are typically considered bad practices.   

JC Penny hired an SEO firm to boost their site's rankings and the firm engaged in black hat tactics to set up pages with links to JC Penny.  In short, they tried to manipulate the system to bring more links to the JC Penny website.  It's not clear if  JC Penny knew what was their SEO firm was doing - but none the less, JC Penny has been penalized by Google by it.  

Click here to read the full article.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Send & Receive Faxes Through Email - Faxing Simplified
Wish you can send and receive faxes through email? Now you can!  There's a web site that offers this service for $10/month (or $100/yr if you pay annually). 

This may sound like a lot of money to some ... but when you consider the fact that you no longer need a fax machine, second line, or have to pay for ink and paper, the fee sounds pretty reasonable.

Most home users don't fax enough enough to warrant the cost.  But folks running a small business may want to take a look at this service (especially if you're running the business the from your home).

Although email is popular, many people still rely on faxing as a means of communication.  That's because they have fax machines instead of scanners and it's quicker and easier to fax something than to scan it into the computer and email it.  Faxing is also more secure than emailing.  So the need to send and receive faxes won't be going away any time soon. 

Many small businesses don't currently offer faxing because of the expense (cost of fax machines, second lines, ink, paper, etc.).  This is a great alternative for these people.  Another advantage of using a service like is that because you can receive faxes via email, you don't have to be in the office to receive and read your faxes.  You can read them on your cell phone (if you pay for internet service) while you're out and and about.  So you don't have to worry about missing an important fax.

Many of my clients have asked how they can send and receive faxes through email, and until now, I didn't have a solution for them.  If this is something, you'd like to do, check out - Faxing Simplified, Anytime, Anywhere! Get a MyFax Number.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Online Chat Support

Getting tech support for various computer problems has become very frustrating for many.  Not only do you usually end up on hold for long periods of time, but then you end up talking to somebody in India whose accent is so thick you have hard time understanding them.  So now you not only have a computer problem, but a language barrier problem with the person trying to help you.  Frustrating indeed!

For these reasons, I will always contact tech support via their online chat system before using the phone.   Another advantage of the chat support system is that tech support can connect remotely to your computer if needed so they can see the problem first hand and even make changes for you.

Not every corporation has online chat support, but many do.  Despite this, finding their chat links can be challenging so I thought I would list them  here.  Just click the links below to go to the appropriate chat support page.

Dell Technical Support (other contact options)

Lexmark Support (no online chat)

McAfee Support (live chat button on top right corner of page)

Qwest Online Chat Support

Note that I only listed the most commonly needed chat support systems here. There are more.  So if you don't see your link above, search Google.  Also, keep in mind that if you're needing help with free software (like AVG, Avast, etc., that most of these sites don't offer online chat tech support.  Instead, you can find help in their community forums).